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As a woman, I have always thought about what makes a man and woman different, apart from the emotional intelligence and physical strength. In all other aspects, I believe women and men are equal, but then why is it that there’s a dearth of women in the workforce. It is more pronounced in the technology industry. The tech industry by its very nature is progressive and ground-breaking, but when it comes to women in tech, there is still a long way to go.
Studies state that women are likely to quit their careers in tech twice as quickly as men, and the lack of upward mobility is a major reason. In the US, only 26% of those in computing jobs are women and the number decreases at higher ranks. The situation is similar in India. Women in the tech industry are concentrated at entry-level jobs and very few make it to the top. India also faces the problem of retaining women after maternity breaks.
There are myriad reasons that prevent women from climbing up the ladder, some are more internal than others. It is important to start with those that we can change. From my experience, I can say that stepping out of our comfort zones will help us get ahead. We, as women, must embrace risks and challenges and ask for more to show our managers that we are ready to take on more responsibilities.
I cannot overstate the importance of finding a mentor at the workplace. Our struggles are not unique, and the right mentor can help guide us towards the right path and boost our confidence. If you are a woman in a leadership position, it is equally important for you to step up to a mentorship role. It will send a strong message to all on the importance of diversity. Being a part of women’s support groups in the workplace is also a great way of talking about specific issues that affect all women.
While on the topic of gender equality in tech, we must talk about the historical data that needs to be set right for accurate predictive and prescriptive analyses to be carried out. Women have been linked to words like fragile, beauty, appearance and emotional. These will result in biased algorithms. Given the number of industries that are adopting AI for its business processes, such biased algorithms may well have negative consequences.
I am proud to be part of GAVS, where we are encouraging women to pursue their dreams in the technology industry. We aim to be the brand ambassadors in providing young women the platform and inspiration they need to be empowered to realize their dreams.
Recently, I have been attending events at the AnithaB and WIT (Women in Technology) forums and see a collective vision in making a bigger impact and to operate more efficiently in an inclusive technology industry. Women in leadership roles have also been making their voices heard. Recently we had Ms. Bouchra Galluccio (VP, HealthFirst) visit us and it has been a great inspiration for me to hear from a woman leader in the IT industry of the US.
GAVS has been very progressive in this aspect and is trying to improve the gender ratio. As a woman, I feel that the world at large needs to encourage more women to work in this sector.
As International Women’s Day approaches (March 8), the technology industry needs to foster, embrace and promote women to positions of impact to create a more balanced future for the next generation. Increasing the number of women in technology has the potential to improve the design of products and services to better aid a more varied population in the global market place.
Last but not least – Men at the top in all spheres of the industry must believe and support their female peers when they highlight the micro-sexism happening in business every day. Good thing is that attitudes are improving and I now work in a business where I always feel heard.
Cheers to an astounding 2020!
Juliana is part of the Customer Success team at GAVS. She is very passionate about technology, and music and is a doting mother to her two sweet sons. She believes that “Empowered Women, Empower Women”